Log in

Thu, Jul. 22nd, 2004, 09:54 am
jenny_evergreen: What's in a name?

In September, the www.truthfaith.org address will expire.
By then, I would like rename the faith. It has changed and developed quite a lot in the past year, and I think that there must be a more apt name for it. Unfortunately, I'm pretty stumped on what that is. So, I'm asking for your suggestions and opinions. What should this religion be called? How should it present itself to the world? What is the term (not already in use, as that would confuse) that most accurately conveys all that this faith is and does not portray it as something it is not?
Anyone? Anyone? Bueller? :)

Sun, Jul. 25th, 2004 12:46 pm (UTC)

One of the things that the name should be, I think, is appealing/accessible to many/most...so I want to avoid a particularly "scholarly" sounding name. Simplicity and straight-forwardness are definitely key aspects.
I do think that focusing on the balance/moderation point isn't a bad idea. It is one of the things that makes this faith unusual...the lack of either asceticism or hedonism.
The Infinite is, though, the center principle of the faith. (Although all eight fundamental truths are, of course, fundamental.)
What I'd want, ideally, is something that captured, to some degree, all eight of those truths, but, realistically, that probably can't be done.
I'm not sure what is the thing to capture that most accurately portrays the faith. That's one of the things I'm hoping to hear about from everyone else. :)

Sun, Jul. 25th, 2004 03:00 pm (UTC)

Sounds like a westernized, slightly different Buddhism without focus on meditation. The Middle Way. Four Noble Truths. Eight-fold Path. A sort of blend between Buddhism, Pantheism, and humanism.

Perhaps find where you DIFFER from these paths, and then you can find your answer.

Sun, Jul. 25th, 2004 04:17 pm (UTC)

Probably the strongest difference from Buddhism (which I've noted before is what I consider to be the closest to this faith) is the de-emphasis of asceticism/self-denial/etc.
Pantheism simply is a less developed thing...it's really just one belief, unbounded by a more detailed framework.
Of course, the belief in the "more than human" is in direct contrast with humanism.
There's also the focus on fear as the force behind most "evil" (a term I don't personally like, hence the quotes.)

Sun, Jul. 25th, 2004 07:20 pm (UTC)

The evil being a result of fear is a lot like Buddhism, too.

But I think you may be misinformed. Buddhism, as a whole, does not teach asceticism or self-denial. It teaching The Middle Way, ie, not starving yourself and not pigging out, literally or metaphorically.

Mon, Jul. 26th, 2004 12:34 am (UTC)

The fear idea can be seen as part of Buddhism, but is far from a key factor, as far as I can tell.

"One should not pursue sensual pleasure, which is low, vulgar, coarse, ignoble, and unbeneficial"
I disagree with much of that...call it a nitpick if you will, but it's led to the more-self-denial-than-self-satisfaction situation of monks/nuns and other serious followers of Buddhism. The key word missing from that (which is a quote of the Buddha himself) is "to excess". It's not there, and cannot honestly be presumed to be there.
While it is certainly far less ascetic than some other faiths, the focus on self denial rather than true moderation is still there. Even lay practitioners have what I see as unreasonable strictures placed on sex and intoxicants. (And I am uncomfortable with a dichotomy of expectations between the lay and the clergy, as an aside.)
I also have an issue with the idea of higher and lower forms that comes into play with reincarnation, asI believe in the basic equal value of all life.

I am not comfortable with westernized/modern Buddhism...it feels to me like there has been rather a lot of manipulation to get rid of the bits that are inconvenient. I believe it is wiser and more productive to simply found a new religion.

Mon, Jul. 26th, 2004 02:26 am (UTC)

"And I am uncomfortable with a dichotomy of expectations between the lay and the clergy, as an aside."

I wholeheartedly agree. While laypeople can "get away" with simply repeating a Buddha's name in order to find enlightenment (Pure Land), while monks in general do have a stricter diet, sexual practice, etc. It doesn't make sense. Either a way is fine or it isn't. Or perhaps, if one is to dedicate their life to teaching something, then they have no time to actually live the lives of those who are teaching. Sounds vaguely familiar.

".it feels to me like there has been rather a lot of manipulation to get rid of the bits that are inconvenient. "

Isn't that how ALL religions are born though? Sure, they may change the name, but most religions are born from religion(s) before it. It is like a bush, twigs going every which way. Catholics, Mormons, Gnostics, and Baptists all can rightfully call themselves Christian, but what they each believe is worlds of differences from each other. All they really have in common is one man and a collection of stories.

Mon, Jul. 26th, 2004 05:28 pm (UTC)

Yes. The teacher must live in order to truly come from a place of knowledge, to my mind, in my understanding.

Indeed, that's how it has been. And look at the confusion and the antipathy.
One of the main reasons I did this was because of the need for clarity. To be clear, it seems best to start anew...not to discard that which is relevant, but to make distinct what those things are by giving them new, unencumbered voice.
Sometimes a path becomes overgrown with brambles, and one has no choice but to take a new path, even if one sees similar flora and fauna along it.

I would very much like to adopt a current faith...it would be infinitely easier. Buddhism is the only faith that even stands a chance, though, and even there, the brambles are too thick for me. I seem not to be the only one with this problem, so I decided to try to reach out.

Mon, Jul. 26th, 2004 06:19 pm (UTC)

I don't blame you, and perhaps this is what attracted me to your community. Unfortunately, there aren't many posts, and I am too ignorant to really instigate questions.

I am of the same mind, in a way. Buddhism does speak to me in many ways, but the "detachment" taken to an extreme puts a blocker for me.

In the same way, I was raised catholic, and much of the symbology I hold very dear to me. (Jesus could be my Buddha, I suppose). I don't really know how to reconcile my love of catholic symbolism and my disdain for their sexual denials and patriarchy, just as I can't reconcile my unlikeness to Buddhism. And I am not of the mind to take up the westernized version of it, ie, do what you can, and just be happy. Don't try because suffering is always there. You can't stop it. Just be "mindful" of it. To me, that sounds like sort of a cop out.

Tue, Jul. 27th, 2004 02:00 pm (UTC)

*sad smile* I do wish people would participate more. But I accept that they don't.

*nod* I think that what Buddha meant by that has been completely misunderstood, for the record. But, again, too many brambles.

The religion I knew best as a child was Catholicism, although the only thing from it that particularly appealed to me was Mary. Well, and a couple of the saints. In place of Mary, I have the Mother, which I like better, actually. :)

*nod* I agree that western Buddhism involves what seems to be rather a lot of "copping out".

If you ever have the time and the will, I'd be glad to have your input...all the information there is on this faith is here, and I really don't want to be doing this alone, even though I will as long as I have to.

Tue, Jul. 27th, 2004 05:05 pm (UTC)

No prob! I will start reading about it more actively, and then you'll be sorry. I'll make myself a nuisance, lol.

Tue, Jul. 27th, 2004 05:12 pm (UTC)

*grin* Time will tell, but I doubt I'll consider you a nuisance.
Except for Guide content (which is pretty recent) things as they are currently are here. Although, of course, a lot of whys and wherefores are contained within the journal itself.